DSM: RE: developmentaldisabilities"

Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Fri, 20 Oct 2000 11:39:13 -0400


> > I think the revelation that a learning disability is
> >caused by the environment was meant to apply to pseudo-disorders
> like ADD.
> >Although I have NO want to cause a flame war I take issue with
> >*pseudo-disorders like ADD*. ADD is a real thing, it is WAY over used in
> >our culture to try to pigeon hole children and give reason to
> medicate the
> >otherwise normal but boisterous child but in it's TRUE form it a
> very real
> >thing.

ADD is a pseudo-disorder. It is a collection of different sets of
personality attributes and psycho-physio symtoms. Some of those sets
probably represent as-to-now undiscovered bona fide conditions, but the vast
majority are just personalities that adults want to get under control.

Attention Deficit Disorder is a catch-all term which does more harm than
good, ESPECIALLY to those who are substantially disabled because Ritalin is
automatically indicated, and Ritalin sucks. The term obviously does harm to
the kids who act like kids and get diagnosed with a disease for their

I have extensive personal experience with it as well; my stepson is
classified as highly ld. (He has repeatedly been shoved into the ADD
classification throughout his life, and while he represents the
quintessential symptom set, the ADD label has been nothing but a barrier to
him and a weapon against him his whole life.)

The only reason the term exists is simply because we don't know what the
conditions are that comprise it, what causes them, and whether and how to
treat them.

For those genuinely disabled, we should use the term "learning disabled" as
it is a term as indeterminate and general as our understanding of what used
to be called Attention Deficit Disorder.

> > When on a daily basis your head will not calm down long enough for you
> > to do one thing and do it well even when you are personally
> motivated to
> > do such or when it interferes with what YOU (being the inner
> you) want to
> > accomplish it is then a problem and indeed there is help to be
> had. This
> > help can mean medication but it can also mean learning to meditate to a
> > clear focus, and perhaps therapy if one gets benefit from it.
> In my mind
> > just because we are talking of free education does not mean that we
> > should not *see* things that might help our children experience this
> > atmosphere in a fuller way.

And the ongoing cultural flushing of the term "ADD" down the toilet will
only help us see children more clearly: as individuals who have their own
personalities and learning styles. The letters "ADD" only obscures and
generalizes children, damages them, and gives adults an excuse to
denormalize their personalities. I invite you to join our society's
rejection of the term.

BTW, while I trust this is not true in your case, my experience is that the
overwhelming majority of parents "seeing things that might help our children
experience things in a fuller way" are into controlling and subsequently
injuring their children.

You'll get no flame war from me Maddie. :)

-Joe Jackson
please note my new email address:
Kids rule at Fairhaven School

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